New York City Marathon Boycott Grows Amid Anger Over City’s Response To Hurricane Sandy

A New York City Marathon boycott is growing after a runner spoke out against the city’s handling of Hurricane Sandy efforts, urging other runners to join her lead.

Many residents and runners have been critical of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision that the ING New York City Marathon will go on, with the New York Post calling it an “abuse of power.” The race is scheduled to continue, but a growing number of runners are pledging not to run and many are choosing to volunteer in clean-up efforts instead.

One of the leaders of the New York City Marathon boycott movement is Peny Krakoff, The Huffington Post noted. A social worker from Crown Heights, Krakoff has become a vocal critic of the marathon and the city’s handling of it. Krakoff said she intends to use her place in the marathon to gain entry to Staten Island, where the race starts, so she can spend the day volunteering in the community, Gothamist reported.

As Krakoff said:

“I cannot start a 26.2 mile run in Staten Island—people are missing, stranded, in need of resources. Brooklyn and Queens have equal devastation. Parts of Manhattan are without electricity, water, major hospitals are closed. The Bronx too has its own challenges. Today I will volunteer at a city evacuation shelter. Sunday morning I will catch the marathon bus to Staten Island. Not planning to run. Plan to volunteer instead and gather resources (extra clothes, bottles of water, food from runners at the start). Let’s not waste resources and attention on a foot race. Who is with me?”

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Organizers of the New York City Marathon boycott said that the city is needlessly allocating resources to the race that instead should be spent on victims of Hurricane Sandy. Bloomberg responded to the criticism, saying he didn’t expect the NYPD to be stretched due to the marathon.

“The city is a city where we have to go on,” Bloomberg said.

But the city has already been hit with a slew of bad press, which in part led to the New York City Marathon boycott. In Staten Island, for example a hotel owner refused to displace victims of Hurricane Sandy to accommodate runners and race officials.